Smith’s revisiting shelving policy after reports of expired food
January 02, 2018 10:29 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- After reports of expired food on shelves at a Northeast Heights store, the Smith’s operations team is revisiting its shelving policy.
Stephanie Horton and her husband moved from Atlanta to Albuquerque in August 2016. Since then, they have filled their pantry from the Smith's at Tramway and Montgomery. She was shocked when she says she found black, rancid ketchup.
"The worst was the ketchup with the 2013 expiration date,” Horton said.
Horton also alleges she accidentally bought old frozen chicken tamales, foul cheese and moldy raspberries.
"After time and time and time again, these things happened. I just thought finally, 'It was enough,'" Horton said.
Horton told 4 Investigates about her disgust with the past due food dates. The 4 Investigates team did some grocery shopping on two separate occasions.
On Dec. 27, 4 Investigates purchased Apple Jacks that expired on Dec. 4, mayonnaise with a "use by" date of Dec. 9 and a Caesar salad kit for one with a "use by" date of Dec. 26.
On Jan. 2, news crews bought a pecan pie with a date of Dec. 30, 2017, pre-sliced Brussels sprouts with a "sell by" date of Jan. 1, 2018, and diced onions with a "sell by" date of Dec. 31, 2017.
Aubriana Martindale, the division corporate affairs manager of Smith's Food & Drug, emailed 4 Investigates the following statement:
“Food quality is a top priority, and our standards include the removal of unsold product before the use by date and donating it to the food bank. According to the USDA food site, a 'Use-By' date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. To ensure customer satisfaction, we will revisit our policy immediately with our operations team."
Albuquerque’s Environmental Health Department Deputy Director Mark DiMenna said the city inspects restaurants but does not have authority over grocery stories. Managers are asked to act in good faith and remove products past their due dates.
DiMenna said the city is now aware of the shelving practices at the Smith’s at Tramway and Montgomery.
According to the USDA, a best "used by" date indicates when the product will taste the best. A "sell by date" marks the last date the store is allowed to display the product for sale. Lastly, a "use by" date is the last day a person is recommended in consuming the product.
Updated: January 02, 2018 10:29 PM
Created: January 02, 2018 09:28 PM
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